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Staying Fit in Law School (on Any Budget!)

Besides studying, working out is one of the main things I do to feel productive and good about myself. I've found it easier to stay in shape in law school when my routine is pretty consistent (and I don't go out four nights a week like my former college self).

Unfortunately, my student loans don't allow for me to hire a personal trainer to come to my house every morning, wake me up, drag me to the gym and kick my butt into shape (ridiculous right???). But, I've found some great programs and people to follow that are effective and motivate me to workout without splurging.

Running

Before you skip over this section because you're "not a runner," hear me out: A year ago, I could barely run a mile without stopping, and maxed out at two miles. This past Sunday, I ran my first half marathon!!!!!!! (see photo; ignore how hurt I look). I started with two miles, then three, then slowly up to five, then six, then eight, then ten, then a 13.1 mile half marathon. This was a year long process, but you can do it! Even if you run a 12 minute mile, you're going faster than everyone on the couch.

The best part about running is that it's free. Run your neighborhood or find trails in your area. Treadmill running is not my favorite because it's SO boring and you're just staring at your time and distance. Get outside and get toned, tanned legs as an added bonus!

However, I do HIGHLY recommend investing a good pair of running shoes. Go in to a sports gear store and have them check your feet, watch you run, etc. to find the right pair of shoes for you. Nikes are super cool and trendy, but offer next to zero arch support. I personally run in Saucony brand shoes.

Running is a great way to clear your head, too. I love starting my weekend with a Saturday morning run to get away from the stress of the week. I also like to switch up my music by finding different, upbeat playlists on 8tracks or Apple Music.

Finally, there are lots of apps that allow you to track your progress. I use Map My Run, but there's also Strava, Nike Run, and plenty of others. You can map your workouts, set goals, and follow friends for a little healthy competition! The only friend I follow is my mom (lol) but if she's 50 and can go for a long run on the weekends, I definitely can too.

Yoga

Yoga is great for stress relief, flexibility, circulation, and almost everything else that's good for your body. However, yoga classes or a studio membership can get pretty pricey. Luckily, we live in the digital age of social media and YouTube. Whenever I"m stressed or don't feeling like committing to an intense workout, I look up yoga videos on YouTube and do them on the floor of my apartment. I often do Yoga with Adriene, which includes awesome routines specific to waking up, getting ready to fall asleep, stretching out after a long run, strength, and pretty much everything else you can think of. For more on yoga classes, keep reading!

Toneitup.com

I found Tone It Up a few months into school last semester and it really inspired me to make time to workout. They post a Daily Workout everyday that you can pretty much do anywhere, whether you belong to a gym or not! A few of the workouts do require weights or resistance bands, but you can get those cheap on Amazon or at Target. I started doing the daily workout as often as I could, and it got me in the habit of committing to a workout everyday. It's easy to follow and free!!!!

If you want to up your game, they also have additional workouts you can purchase, as well as a nutrition plan you can follow. I personally haven't done either because ya girl is ballin' on a budget but from the testimonials they post it seems like people achieve great results.

They also have a ton of videos on their website and on their YouTube channel that you can follow at home, from cardio abs to "Wine Not Wednesday" which gives you a good arm workout using two wine bottles!

Follow people that inspire you

The best part about social media fitness stars is that they often post workout videos or advice. Following people like this allows you to get little reminders that you should get moving while you're laying on your couch scrolling through Instagram.

A few of my personal favorites are Tammy Hembrow (bonus: has the cutest babies ever), Jen Selter (booty queen of the world), and Kayla Itstines (who posts lots of workout videos, and also has her own workout program but I personally haven't tried it).

Also, shoutout to my classmate Grace (@exercisewithextrafries) who is a stellar student AND works out more than anyone I know. Follow her if you want to get fit but also love french fries.

Classes

Another good way to get in shape is to do various classes. Classes are good if you don't know what you're doing and end up just laying on the ab mats whenever you go to the gym. A downside to classes is they get pretty pricey. SoulCycle is a killer workout and has a cult-like following, but will cost you $30/class. Corepower Yoga is another great program with individual class rates at $25 and monthly rates at about $155. However, most places offer you a start-up discount for your first class or first month.

Classpass allows you to pay one monthly membership and get access to a ton of different studios. This is a great option for people who get bored of doing the same workout every time. Also, they offer great deals for your first month so you can try it out.

Groupon offers discounts on classes, both individual and membership packages. Most places only let you buy one or two Groupons for the same place, but it's better to try it at a cheaper price before you commit fully. This lets you explore all sorts of activities (barre classes, kickboxing, aerial yoga) without spending all of your student loan funds.

Bottom Line

Like anything else in law school and in life, making time for working out requires you to manage your time well and keep fitness a consistent priority in your everyday life. Personally, I already feel 6:30 a.m. is early enough to wake up for class and so I make time to workout in the evenings. However, if you have time in the morning, working out early is a great way to kickstart your day. Staying in shape will make you feel less stressed and help you sleep better.Time to get moving!

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